One day until Election Day. Here's the press report on the Trump campaign battleground blitz.
Good morning from a breezy and overcast Doral, where we’re awaiting POTUS to kick off day two of his campaign battleground blitz. One day until Election Day.
Your pooler did receive a Covid test this morning before we arrived.
It’s currently 75 degrees here. We’re working our way from warm to colder climates today.
Here’s the rally schedule for today:
Traverse City, MI
Grand Rapids, MI
And back to DC tonight at 1:30 AM.
We’ve cleared security and are holding outside the entrance. POTUS is due to depart Doral at 9:30AM. Please reach out with any questions.
We are rolling for Miami International Airport at 9:42 AM.
Pool did not see POTUS emerge from Doral from our vantage point in the press van, but did hear some cheering and loud chants of “four more years!” shortly before we left.
We are headed to Fayetteville, NC, where POTUS is scheduled to deliver remarks at campaign rally no. 1 at the Fayetteville Regional Airport at 11:45 AM.
POTUS climbed out of the Beast at 9:56AM
He was wearing a dark overcoat and a red tie. He waved to press but did not stop to talk.
Mark Meadows, Jared Kushner, Hope Hicks, Kayleigh McEnany, Ronna McDaniel, Robert O’Brien, Stephen Miller and Bill Stepien were spotted boarding.
We are now boarding for Fayetteville at 9:58AM. A reminder we’re on the smaller plane today so service is limited.
AF1 was wheels down at 11:40 AM.
The one hour and forty five-minute flight was largely uneventful. Stephen Miller made a couple of appearances at the back of the plane but did not speak to reporters. We experienced some turbulence descending into NC.
We’re walking into the rally site now and did not lay eyes on POTUS deplaning. Throngs of supporters are awaiting the president as a giant American flag suspended from two cranes hangs above the crowd.
“We are the Champions” is now playing.
He’s due to deliver remarks shortly. The rally will be carried live and l’ll send any notable color.
POTUS took the stage at 11:53 AM and began speaking at 11:54 AM – running only about 10 minutes behind as we try to stay on schedule for five rallies today. POTUS is wearing his signature MAGA hat, a black overcoat, and leather gloves again today.
“We have five of these today – five. We have some big ones,” POTUS says as the crowds break out into a chant of “We love you!”
It’s 52 degrees and sunny here in Fayetteville.
He’s now dismissing national polls, which continue to show him trailing Biden.
POTUS wrapped his remarks at 1 PM for a total of 64 minutes. He aired his laundry list of grievances about polling, Biden, Hillary Clinton, negative stories about him trending on Twitter, the media, Jerry Nadler, the Russia investigation and social media.
He said he was under a “fake investigation” by a lot of “fake people” for the first two-and-a-half years.
“If I didn’t have social media, I wouldn’t be here,” Trump said. “It’s the only way I could defend myself.”
He complained that media organizations are not reporting allegations about Hunter Biden (which is incorrect).
“We don’t have freedom of the press. We probably haven’t had it for a long time,” he said. “We have suppression by the press.”
POTUS remarked about the crowd size being more than 2,500 but it appears there are around a few thousand. The crowd is full of red, “Make America Great Again” hats and most of the crowd is unmasked, although most of the people on the riser behind the president are wearing masks.
Pool is being shuttled out of the filing area as the president wraps up.
Dan Scavino was spotted waiting forever POTUS.
POTUS boarded AF1 at 1:03 PM. He waved to press as he walked back to the plane. He didn’t stop to talk to reporters.
POTUS ascended the steps and turned back to the rally to wave one last time to his supporters
We are now boarding for Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport.
AF1 was wheels up at 1:13 PM from Fayetteville and wheels down at Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport at 2:24 PM.
Note on last rally: Ronna McDaniel and Kayleigh McEnany danced along to the YMCA at the conclusion of the event.
Pool was treated to a printout of a tweet from Washington Examiner’a Byron York about a “hidden Trump voter” in the must-win state of Pennsylvania.
POTUS took the stage at 2:39 PM and wrapped at 3:55 PM.
He began by tossing Make America Great Again hats into the crowd.
“This does not look like a second place finish,” he told the crowd. POTUS said he watched “Sleepy Joe” and said he was “unable to fill up his circles.
A few notable lines below. Please check against the transcript.
“I say to women of the suburbs, love me women of the suburbs, love me,” he tells the crowd in Scranton.
There’s two giant American flags suspended from two cranes hanging over the peripheral risers. About 30 smaller flags line the riser behind the stage. Two large television screens with the campaign motto, “The best is yet to come!,” are situated on both sides of the flag-lined riser. It’s a chilly 43 degrees here in Avoca but the crowd is enthralled.
“Boy, you are an enthusiastic bunch,” he said to huge cheers.
He knocked the SCOTUS decision on PA, said “they made a dangerous situation” here. “I mean dangerous physically,” he added. They did a “very very bad thing for this nation.”
He again complained about Twitter and allegations of social media bias as well as Hillary Clinton.
“I see it with Twitter trending. I know what trending is better than anybody in the world,” he said. “I’ve been trending my whole life. From the day I was born, I’ve been trending.”
At one point, the crowd began chanting “Lock Wolf up!” after Trump said their governor needed to open up the state.
POTUS also claimed that foreign leaders called him to express surprise that Biden was his challenger. He also knocked Biden for promoting that he’s from Scranton, PA.
“I went to school in Pennsylvania. I don’t make the biggest deal out it,” he said.
He pointed out that Nigel Farage is in the audience in Pennsylvania. “It’s an honor to have you, Mr. Brexit.”
He also gave a shout out to Jared Kushner. “Jared usually likes to stay on the plane and work,” he said.
Eric Trump was also spotted.
Pool was moved before POTUS finished.
POTUS boarded AF1 at 3:59PM.
Eric Trump was spotted boarding the plane in a MAGA hat. Pool is now boarding.
Next up: rally no. 3 at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan, where it’s 47 degrees.
Air Force One was wheels up from Pennsylvania at 4:09 PM and touched down at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan, at 5:36 PM.
Your pooler could see snow on the ground as we began descending into Michigan.
The plane ride was uneventful but pool did spot golf on the television screen in the main cabin earlier in the flight.
POTUS is due to give remarks here at the airport for his third rally of the day and his first of two rallies in Michigan tonight. Vice President Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence and their daughter Charlotte Pence are expected to join POTUS for this rally.
The event will be livestreamed but your pooler will send along any notable details.
Pool received another printed out tweet after boarding AF1 in Scranton (see below):
It’s a beautiful sherbet-colored sunset here in Traverse City, Mich. The crowd began to chant “Trump! Trump! Trump” just as POTUS was introduced at 5:49 pm.
He was joined on stage with Vice President Pence as “God Bless the USA” finished. POTUS began speaking at 5:53 PM.
POTUS recycled a lot of material from his previous rallies over the last two days. He wrapped his remarks at 7:09 PM for a total of 76 minutes.
Here’s a few remarks from the event. Please check against the transcript.
He took a shot at Sen. Mitt Romney for his impeachment vote against him.
“He wished he didn’t do it, I’ll tell you,” he said.
Says the “biggest loser will be the fake news media” if he loses.
“You know their ratings are through the roof, through the roof. The NFL is doing very badly you know why? Everyone’s watching politics because they find politics to be much rougher than as much dirtier and more disgusting,” he said.
He’s again complaining about the Russia investigation and said he was “under siege.”
“He gets more time on Fox,” POTUS says of Biden. “I’ve never seen anybody on Fox so much…they have everybody on Fox. They have all enemies on Fox. I think it’s crazy,” he said. He then mocked Biden for wearing aviator sunglasses, saying “they’re a little too small,” he said. “He wants to look like Tom Cruise from a long time ago.”
He again insisted that a vaccine would be mass distributed in a few weeks despite his own health experts saying a vaccine likely won’t be widely available until mid-2021. He said “we’re going to protect our senior citizens” but added that no one will be forced to get the vaccine.
GOP Senate candidate John James briefly took the stage to fire up the crowd.
POTUS then began regaling the crowd with the night he won in 2016 and how he chose Ronna McDaniel to lead the RNC. McDaniel took the stage: “lightning struck four years ago and we blew the minds of the media and the world when we delivered Michigan for President Trump. Are we ready for lightning to strike twice?” she asked.
Hours before Election Day, POTUS recalled states being called for him in 2016: “I think we’re going to duplicate,” he said. “I don’t know if you ever surpass something like that but we’re going to at least duplicate it.”
Pool was moved before POTUS finished.
I’ve included a better shot of the crowd tonight. There’s a hangar to the right, just out of frame.
POTUS motorcades from the rally to AF1. He waved again to press before climbing the steps of AF1 for the third time today at 7:14 PM.
Next up: a short flight to General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, WI., where we’ll motorcade to Kenosha for #4.
Pool is boarding now.
AF1 was wheels down at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee at 6:55 PM Central.
The pool is bracing for more chilly weather in Kenosha, where we’ll hear POTUS speak at his fourth rally of the day. We have a 30-minute motorcade to Kenosha Regional Airport and we’re running about 40 minutes behind schedule.
Another printed out tweet awaited the pool when we returned to the plane in Traverse City. This one came from RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel (see below)
POTUS deplaned at 7:11 PM.
He spoke to the press for 5 minutes. “it’s been an amazing day, an amazing two days.”
Calls SCOTUS decision on PA dangerous. “It’s a mistake. It allows cheating,” he said.
“Totally opens up cheating in Pennsylvania.”
Are you nervous? “Well I’ve been here before, I think we’re in a much stronger position than before.”
POTUS said he will go to the campaign headquarters in Virginia tomorrow.
He’s again talking about boat and tractor parades by supporters. “I think you’ll see all those people voting.”
“I’m very concerned about Pennsylvania. Philadelphia is known for bad things happening,” he says when asked if it’s going to be a long night.
“I hope the Supreme Court has the wisdom to change it,” he says. Said they just need to look at the commentators on television.
Continues to talk about the crowd size compared to Joe Biden’s events, which are purposely limited out of covid concerns.
As you probably have seen, POTUS tweeted about the SCOTUS Pennsylvania decision before he deplaned.
According to another tweet, he’ll be joined by Corey Lewandowski, Reince Priebus, David Bossie, and Tiffany Trump in Kenosha.
It’s 48 degrees here in Milwaukee. We’re rolling at 7:19 PM.
Motorcade arrived at Kenosha Regional Airport at 7:54 PM after a 33-minute ride.
We’re running about 50 minutes behind schedule.
On the president’s comments at the Milwaukee airport:
As always please check the transcript as it was difficult to hear under the wing.
On the question of “are you nervous? The quote is: “Well I’ve been here before, I think we’re in a much stronger position than *four years ago.*”
POTUS is due to speak shortly. His remarks are being carried live.
POTUS took the stage at 8:00 PM CT and concluded his remarks at 9:14 PM CT.
Pool was ushered out of the filing area and into the vans before the president finished.
He seemed to have a few issues with the microphone, which prompted cheers of “Turn it up! Turn it up!” and then “Four more year! Four more years!”
“And we’re supposed to pay these people, right?” he quipped. He asked the crowd which audio they preferred.
“I’m always saying, I want a perfect mic,” he said.
Prior to the technical difficulties, POTUS mentions that it was his “pleasure” to visit Kenosha in September. “You were in the news, right? You were in the news,” referring to the civil unrest that broke out in the aftermath of the shooting of Jacob Blake.
He’s now on to attacks on Biden. “Could he really win, are we serious about this?” he asks. The crowd roars back with a resounding “no!”
A staffer came on stage to try and fix the mic issue. POTUS said he won’t pay the bill because of the technical difficulties. “I don’t like to pay bills when people do a bad job,” he said before relenting that he would because the company is Kenosha-based. “They come from Kenosha so I’m going to pay the bill anyway. What the hell.”
POTUS is now holding a mic instead of having one positioned on the lectern.
“Can you actually hear me?” he asks. “Because it’s the worst microphone I’ve ever used in my life.”
The crowd at one point begins chanting, “Save Illinois!”
(FWIW the Illinoi border is about 20 miles southwest of Kenosha).
POTUS recognized his son, Eric, and his wife Lara Trump, who serves as a senior campaign official. Eric and Lara came up on stage and Lara delivered brief remarks about securing four more years.
All the Trump children are in attendance. Tiffany, Don Jr., Ivanka and Jared Kushner and Kimberly Guilfoyle were in the crowd. Pool also saw Sarah Sanders and Ronna McDaniel.
POTUS pointed out Reince Priebus, his former chief of staff. Said it took him years to pronounce his name properly but he’s a “fantastic person.”
He also recognized state GOP chair Andrew Hitt, who he said was doing a nice job but if he doesn’t win he would be “fired immediately.”
He then moved on to his family: Don Jr. takes the stage to fire up supporters before Jared (“he’s doing peace in the Middle East”), Ivanka and Tiffany all join on stage. Ivanka delivered remarks for the third time at one her father’s rallies over the last two days.
POTUS: “Jared would you like to say something about ‘peace in the Middle East?’”
Jared responds: “I would just say in Washington, if the things that the politicians were talking about were easy they would have been done a long time ago. But it took a leader like President Trump to come in and shake things up a little bit, but we’ve seen things get done that we never imagined happen.”
He also noted Corey Lewandowski and David Bossieare in the audience. Stand up, he says, “we don’t have to hear from them, the mic doesn’t work anyway so don’t worry about.”
We’re rolling for Milwaukee at 9:20 PM. Next up: The fifth and final rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he ended his campaign four years ago.